I am transitioning to a sales position, and here are the top three things I have learned so far:
1. Know which hoop you are aiming for. I thought that making sales was my goal.
Nope, it is finding the right clients- companies who we can work with profitably for the long term. Finding the right clients means our staff is happier, we make more money, and the same for the client.
2. Separate results from effort. I am still working on this- but I am seeing (as so many people have said) that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, it matters what results you get. And most results come from a small part of your total effort.
Some people take that to mean that you should work every waking hour during the work week. Some take it to mean that you should figure out which specific part of your effort is creating the results, and then go do that, but not to the point that work is all you do.
3. Find great mentors. Ian, my mother, a co-workers former vendor, some of my mother’s friends, a former boss- I am starting to build a group of people who know something about this sales thing.
I learn a lot from each conversation with any of them, and it is usually something different from each person. When I hear the same thing from more than one, I know I better follow that advice.
How about you? What big lessons would you add to this list?